Open Spaces : Social Media

The Weekly Wrap: October 2nd - October 8th

It's been an interesting week here at Open Spaces. Today we are relaunching our weekly wrap up series where we summarize all of the posts over the last week.

So enjoy! Simply click the title or the picture to catch up on what you might have missed.

As always, please leave your comments and let us know how we're doing. Your feedback about how we are doing, both good and bad, is always valuable.

Looking Back: Spotlight on Rudolph Dieffenbach

On Sunday we started a regular feature to highlight the insanely interesting, but little known, history of your National Wildlife Refuge System. The first post was dedicated to Rudolph Dieffenbach, a man who acquired more land for American wildlife than any other figure before or after his era.

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Take a Photo Tour

If you didn't know, every region has a Flickr page with some great imagery - so does our National Digital Library (along with lots of other cool things).  Here's a quick photo tour of our regions. Enjoy!

These Mexican spotted owls, listed as threatened, rest in a canyon in Utah, in the Mountain Prairie Region. Rock walls with caves, ledges, and other areas provide protected nest and roost sites. 

Mexican Spotted OwlsPhoto Credit: Amie Smith

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New Service Voices: Social Media at the Upper Miss Refuge

Cortney White

Cortney White, 
Park Ranger, Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge

Today we’re continuing our series "New Service Voices" with guest blogger Cortney White.  Cortney has been with the service since 2009 at Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, first as a clerk, now as a Park Ranger in the Student Career Employment Program (SCEP).  Cortney completed her B.A. in Public Relations from Winona State University in 2010 and is finishing her M.S. in Outdoor Education.  She has concentrated her work at WSU on how to promote positive environmental attitudes in young children.

When I started working with the Service, my job description as a clerk at the Upper Miss Refuge included helping the new refuge Friends group start using social media tools like Facebook and Twitter. When I learned I would be able to communicate the mission of conservation using social media I was excited to help display the refuge in a new spotlight.

At that time social media was new to the Service, and providing a resource for the Friends group to advertise the refuge online helped expand the refuge to a new audience. Like many organizations, the refuge traditionally depended on print or television media to promote a refuge story and communicate to viewers.  Social media however, allows the refuge the ability to communicate directly with those interested in its mission.

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Conserving the Future through New Technologies

Dan Ashe (far left) as a young boy looking at a bird on a Florida beach. Courtesy of the Ashe family.

This Week Dan Ashe has been writing from the Conserving the Future Conference in Madison, Wisconsin. Today's theme: Youth and Technology.

Wednesday at the Conserving the Future conference for the National Wildlife Refuge System, was another inspiring and exciting day. 

In today’s update, I wanted to talk about two themes that resonated for me: the tremendous capacity of young people to carry America’s conservation legacy forward and the power of reaching out to those young people through new technologies. 

There were amazing moments from yesterday’s conference. 

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Conserving the Future through Science and Partnerships

This week Open Spaces is featuring posts from our new Director, Dan Ashe. Dan will be blogging live from the Conserving the Future Conference currently underway in Madison, Wisconsin.

Yesterday was an energizing, inspiring first day of the Conserving the Future conference for the National Wildlife Refuge System.  Many themes have been emerging from the conference so far and I want to take today’s blog to talk about two that I thought were particularly notable and important. 

The first is the use of science. The Service has a long, distinguished history of using the best available science in our decisions and our ability to have access to the best science is more important than ever. 

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The Right Time in the Right Place

This week on Open Spaces, we have a special guest blogger: our new Director, Dan Ashe.  You can meet Dan on his new Director's Corner Page. 

After more than a year of planning and anticipation, Conserving the Future: National Wildlife Refuges and the Next Generation is here.  

When I got here yesterday, I was greeted with dark clouds and claps of thunder. Some might think this was an inauspicious beginning, but I thought it was perfect, an exciting start to our history-making event.

A lot has changed since the last time we did this.  In 1999, Fulfulling the Promise became the National Wildlife Refuge System’s guiding vision.

Today, we face more – and more complex – conservation challenges. There’s the U.S. population – more urban, older and  more diverse -- that has grown by 58 million in the past 20 years. There are increasing threats to fish, wildlife and habitats and the added challenge of a changing climate. Add to these the rapid changes in communication fostered by the web and social media.

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How you can Follow the Conserving the Future Conference Online

Well, it's almost here. The Conserving the Future for the Next Generation Conference being held from July 10th-14th in Madison, Wisconsin is only days away. During the conference, a new vision for the Refuge System will finally be ratified.  Learn more about the conference at http://americaswildlife.org.

All next week, scores of break–out sessions, workshops and lectures will be held, along with plenary sessions for the 1,200 people gathered at the Monona Terrace Community and Conference Center. The good news is that you don't have to be in Madison to participate. Using a variety of online and social technologies, we'll be working hard to bring the conference directly to you, no matter where you are.

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Last updated: June 21, 2012